Tag Archives: ChatterBlossom

Completed: A French Terry Lola Dress

11 Dec

Good morning, everyone! I guess I’m back to posting about sewing things… it was a nice hiatus, anyway! I had a lovely vacation, a very relaxing weekend at home, and now working on a new big sewing project (a coat for Landon!). In the meantime, I have a small backlog of projects that I’ve been meaning to post, so obviously I will start with the most recent one first, because it is my most favoritest.

French Terry Lola Dress


Y’all remember the Lola sweatshirt dress, right? Gah, sometimes I feel like – with the influx of new patterns coming out at such a rapid pace (which is not necessarily a bad thing – but it can get overwhelming at times!), we forget about the really good ones that are just a little bit older. And by older – sometimes that’s as “old” as a few months! So I’ve made it a point to re-visit some of my favorites and make them up in new fabrics. I mean, they’re a favorite for a reason, yeah? πŸ™‚ (but don’t worry – I’ll obviously still sew up new releases as well because, ooh, new and shiny!).

Anyway, Lola was always one of my favorites! A really fun and flattering twist on the sweatshirt – here’s a princess-seamed sweatshirt dress! I’ve made this pattern twice before (see: one and two), so I knew it was a winner. Side note: While version 1 gets worn aaaallll the time (love that dress!), version 2 is gone. The cheap fabric I used meant that the dress was constantly pilling and just looked old and shitty, so I removed it from my house. So that’s that. Also, wow, I sort of almost miss having brown hair now.

French Terry Lola Dress

French Terry Lola Dress

Since I’ve already made this pattern before, this was a very quick and satisfying sew. I sewed up the size 2, and then made further adjustments to get the fitted/streamlined look you see here. I started by using 5/8″ seam allowances (the pattern calls for 3/8″, but I’m a little bit smaller than the smallest measurements so this helped with sizing down a little), and then took in the waist another 1/2″ or so at every seam. Speaking of which, I really ought to adjust my pattern pieces for this shit because I go through this damn trying on/adjusting/trying on/adjusting rigamarole EVERY DAMN TIME I make this dress! Maybe that should be my New Year’s resolution – adjust my pattern pieces when I do fitting changes haha. That would save me a lot of trouble.

One thing to keep in mind if you’re making this pattern – if you want to adjust the fit at the waist, try on the dress before you attach the skirt. From there, you can pinch out the princess seams to get the fit you like (just remember to do the same to the skirt pieces so the seams match up!), but be careful not to overfit, as this really isn’t that type of dress.

Other changes I made to the pattern: I lengthened the sleeves to full-length (and redrafted the cuff piece accordingly), left off the hem band (and sewed a deep 2″ hem), and left off the pockets. Actually, those are the same changes I made to my last 2 dress. Whateverrr!

Also, wtf is going on with my hair in the last picture? And why do I look so… disgruntled?

French Terry Lola Dress

The fabric that I used for this dress is pretty fabulous! I’ve mentioned before that I get fabric from Elizabeth Suzann’s wholesale orders (ah, the perks of working in sewing!) – that’s where this stuff came from. It’s French Terry, and it came with MATCHING RIB KNIT, which I used for the neckline and cuffs. The right side of the French Terry is a smooth knit with defined stitches, and the wrong side has the most beautiful, plush loops that make this shit SO FUCKING COZY. We use it at Elizabeth Suzann to make sweaters and sweater dresses – although there, we sew the fabric wrong-side out because it looks so cool (see the Billie Sweater). For me, though, I wanted my dress to be warm and cozy – so the loops stayed to the inside. Funny, after sewing all those sweaters – this side looks rather plain πŸ™‚ It is, however, easier to see the cool seaming details this way, so that’s good!

Sewing this fabric was fine, if not a little messy (French Terry will shed like NO OTHER, so I would really hesitate to sew this without a serger – you need some way to finish the seams). Because the fabric is so thick, my serger had some difficulties at first with stitch tension – everything was super wavy. I just upped the differential feed to the max and tweaked the stitch size, and that spaced out the stitches enough so that the seams lie flat. Speaking of which, pretty sure that’s the first time I’ve ever had to tinker with the settings on my serger. For the most part, it does everything automatically without my input (it’s a BabyLock Imagine, in case you were curious. The queen of sergers!).

French Terry Lola Dress

French Terry Lola Dress

Sorry these pictures are kind of crappy/all over the place. I guess I’m out of habit at this point, ha!

French Terry Lola Dress

Here’s an accidental picture that really showcases the fabric! I used the wrong side for the little sweatshirt V. And check out that ribbing! Love it when it matches πŸ˜€

French Terry Lola Dress

I guess that’s it! Really glad to have another cozy winter dress to add to my arsenal – and this one is pretty freaking cozy (while still being cute!).

One last thing – ChatterBlossom (one of my sponsors + an all-around gorgeous gal) is currently having a holiday sale! Use the code LLADYBIRD15 for 15% off your purchase, good through 12/15 (so, soon!). Whether you need a last-minute gift for someone – or for yourself (I always buy myself Christmas gifts, because I always ALWAYS get myself the best presents! Such as this necklace, ahem) – definitely check her out! I love Jamie’s stuff, and the detail in some of the pieces (such as this elephant or this mosquito) is INSANE. Actually, that’s a ChatterBlossom piece I’m wearing in these photos – the navy anchor button πŸ™‚ Love it!

ChatterBlossom Giveaway!

14 Oct

Ooh I’m so jealous of whoever wins this giveaway!

Chatterblossom, run by the gorgeous Jamie, is one of my newest sponsors. Jamie upcycles antique and vintage pieces into some of the most stunning jewelry I’ve ever seen. Seriously, I’m not much of a jewelry collector – I tend to wear the same thing every day, yep, ok – but once I started clicking through her Etsy, I found myself unable to stop. It’s hard to pick a favorite when literally every single item in her shop is amazing! Once I did finally settle on a favorite (my Golden Chariot necklace. I LOVE THAT NECKLACE. I wear it nearly every single day, only taking it off if my outfit requires silver :P), it came packaged in the prettiest little gift wrap. I almost didn’t want to open it because it looked so nice! Ha ha, just kidding, you know I tore that shit open so fast I felt bad later because I forgot to take a picture!

What’s extra awesome about ChatterBlossom is that Jamie gives each piece a name and a story to go with it. So, combine all that is lovely in the shop, coupled with all the stories to be read on each listing, and you’ve got an entire evening of entertainment (not to mention a wishlist that goes on for several pages). I spent long enough clicking around, now let me show you some of my favorites!

Jamie has dozens of necklaces, rings, and earrings, all made with reclaimed vintage and antique pieces. I especially love how she finds beautiful and interesting buttons and turns them into jewelry.
roman bust
Roman Holiday

pewter necklace
My Lady Ivy

cut glass ring
Petals of the New Moon

bird necklace
Share my Song

Or perhaps you fancy a necklace made with Victorian lace?
lace necklace
Upon the Wings of Night

Or, ooh, how about some gorgeous hair accessories? That black beaded flapper headband especially, gah.
pink flowers
My Foolish Heart

flapper headband
Night Atop the Stars

If beads and lace feel too fancy for your every day needs, ChatterBlossom also makes lovely hair flowers, often with those pretty vintage buttons in the center. I love these autumnal colors!
autumn flowers
Woodland Lovers

Ready to start shopping? Hold onto your wallets for just a second because Jamie has generously offered a $25 gift certificate to her shop for one lucky reader! Yay!! To enter, all you need to do is leave a comment on this post and let me know what is your favorite item in the ChatterBlossom shop. That’s it! Just don’t get too sucked into the vortex of beautiful jewelry for too long πŸ˜‰ This giveaway is open WORLDWIDE – if you can receive mail, you can enter! I will close the comments at week from today, Monday 10/21 at 8am CST. Good luck!

If you don’t want to wait and see if you won the giveaway, I’ve also got a discount code for ya! Use the code Lladybird15 to get 15% off your entire order at ChatterBlossom (so, yes, now would be the time to stock up). This code is good for now through 10/28.

Thank you so much for letting me host this giveaway, Jamie! Guys, if you want a double dose of pretties, you can always follow her blog. Personally, I can’t stop geeking out over her hair. It’s so perfect, I can’t even.

Completed: A Stripey Belladone

29 Jul

Oh noes, you guys – I’m running out of fabric from the huge haul I bought at Mood in NYC. Can you believe it? I only have two pieces left! What happened! WHEN DO I GET TO RESTOCK?

Belladone Dress

I am happy to say that the striped cotton I bought finally found a home in a new dress. Yay!

Belladone Dress

I actually had different plans for this fabric, but then ElΓ©onore sent me the Belladone dress pattern and my plans immediately changed. Stripes are PERFECT for this dress – you have so many fun stripey placement options! And y’all know how much I love playing with stripe direction πŸ˜‰

Belladone Dress

I can’t even begin to tell you how happy I am with how this dress turned out. Sometimes when I’m going crazy with my stripe (or plaid, for that matter) directions, I start to wonder if I’m going to end up with a giant clusterfuck in the end. Fortunately, I think this one turned out pretty perfect – there’s plenty of interest, but it won’t make you dizzy if you stare at it too long!

Belladone Dress

My Belladone is a size 34, with no alterations except a few tucks at the back to get it to lie flat (I’ll talk more about that in a minute). I went with the invisible bias trim – which is topstitched in white – as I didn’t want a bunch of contrast competing with the stripes. The upper back pieces are cut on the cross grain because I liked that stripe placement better, and the waistband is cut in four pieces on the bias, and then pieced together. I also interfaced the waistband because I was afraid the bias would distort over time – it’s pretty fitted. Otherwise, the dress is basically sewn straight out of the envelope -length and all!

Belladone Dress

I love this dress! Look, it has pockets!

Belladone Dress

And a cool back cut-out!

Belladone Dress

Belladone Dress

The stripes made some cool chevrons down the sides, ha.

Belladone Dress

This is a fairly simple pattern to make, but be warned that the back may take a little finessing to get a perfect fit. You want it to lie perfectly flat – no gaping! I’ve noticed that most reviews tend to not need any adjusting, so I think I may be a bit of a rarity in needing it – I also have a pretty small back (I wear a 30 band, fyi), so most stuff is big on me anyway.

Belladone Dress - Adjustments

I made a muslin of the bodice – zipper and all – and pinned out the excess at the upper back when I tried it on. Obviously, this is kind of difficult to do without assistance – but it’s totally doable, I mean, I did it. I just kind of eyeballed it, took the top off, pinned at my guesstimate, and tried it on. Over and over (ok, it was like twice, haha). A dressform would be helpful for this, but mine has a bigger back than I do sooo I had to do it the hard way. Anyway, once I pinned out my excess (and then sewed up tiny darts and tried it on a final time), I measured the amount I needed to take out.
(Also, I just realized I was drinking out of an American Pride coffee mug while working on a French pattern. lolz.)

Belladone Dress - Adjustments

To make the adjustment to your pattern (since you don’t want darts in that piece, you want it nice and smooth), just slash right up the middle of the piece and leave a little hinge. Overlap the edges by however much you need to take out (I think mine was 1/4″, not much) and then tape it down. Make sure the line is smooth and straight, and you’re done!

I also ended up overlapping the upper back pieces an additional 1/2″, as well as taking about 1/4″ out of the center back seam (along the zipper).

Belladone Dress

The back looks pretty good, though, yeah?
Ignore the lump at the waist of the zipper, I had a lot of bulk there, so the zipper doesn’t want to lie flat! Wah!

Belladone Dress

Stripessss!! πŸ˜€

Belladone Dress - Necklace from Chatter Blossom :)

Oh, and check out my new necklace! This is from ChatterBlossom, my newest sponsor! Jamie has some of the prettiest reclaimed vintage pieces I’ve come across (and enviable hair to boot, I mean, ugh, that’s EXACTLY what I wanted mine to do when I cut it short!!), and I love that she gives each of them a story. I picked a couple of pieces from her shop – and that was hard, there are soo many things in there that I need – and I am so happy with what I got. This necklace is Egyptian, circa 1880-1918. I’ve really gotten sucked into Egyptian history lately (the pyramids! Nefertiti! The Spinx! Aliens!! lol just kidding on that last one :P), so I’m really excited about this little treasure. Fair warning: I’ve worn this every day since I received it, and I don’t plan on taking it off. You’ll be seeing this necklace a lot, jsyk.

Anyway, back to Belladone…

Belladone Dress
Belladone Dress

Even though my bias tape is invisible from the outside, I still wanted it to be pretty – so I used polka dot bias tape πŸ™‚ I used the bias tape left over from my Blue Lace Robson (and I still have more of this stuff, it’s like the gift that keeps on giving haha). I also faced the waistband with a piece of navy cotton sateen (also from that same lace coat, gah), since I didn’t want the interfacing all up in my biz. Unfortunately, the sateen is a bit heavy, which is why the zipper is lumpy at the waistline. Oh well, live and learn!
Oh god, ignore that rogue navy thread on the upper back btw.

Belladone Dress

I’m pretty happy with how this dress turned out – it’s fabulous on it’s own, and I think the navy stripes will also look good with different colors, such as yellow and kelly green. The dress is perfect for bike riding, even if it does give me a funny tan line πŸ˜‰ Ha! Worth it πŸ™‚